March 29, 2012 by Dave Majumdar – FG
Washington DC - Lockheed Martin promoted its reduced-cost C-130XJ variant of the venerable Hercules tactical transport at FIDAE.
The US company's move might be seen as a direct challenge to Embraer. The Brazilian manufacturer has said previously that it is negotiating with Chile to sell the nation's air force six KC-390 jet-powered airlifters that it is developing.
In August 2010, the two South American states signed a declaration of intent that would see Chile's Enaer participate in the development of the KC-390.
Lockheed however, while not overtly stating it is targeting Chile's business, says that it has had numerous inquires from South American nations for the C-130XJ. The aircraft is anywhere from 10% to 15% cheaper than the standard C-130J produced for the US Air Force.
"We've tried to tailor the XJ so that it can have a lower price point and still give them the capabilities that they need," says Lockheed's Jim Grant, who oversees the C-130XJ effort.